SMS Assist worked with a retailer to build a transparent budget program that leverages every last penny of its valuable facilities management spend.

The need

More visibility into a retailer's spend

Retailers around the globe fight to keep their stores operational, immaculate, and appealing for customers, all while staying on a strict budget. Without timely budget reports, clean and complete data, steady financial conditions, and unlimited resources, budget strategies can be disrupted and lead to delayed or halted capital projects.

That was the everyday for one retailer. While working with another facilities management provider, the retailer was overestimating the cost of work orders, receiving untimely budget reports, and delaying important capital projects. 

The retailer turned to SMS Assist. Where to start? SMS Assist collected all of the retailer’s available budgetary information and history, across multiple systems and prior relationships, going back many years. SMS Assist absorbed it all on a mission to meet—and exceed—the retailer’s hopes for budgetary visibility.

The solutions

SMS Assist built a deferred services investment plan

Before SMS Assist: Each month was a guessing game. The retailer delayed non-critical work orders during the months it feared going over budget to make room for the most important work orders.

SMS Assist provided daily facility spend by month, quarter, and year to show the dollar amount left in the retailer’s budget. With this accuracy, SMS Assist built an investment plan to fit non-critical services back in the retailer’s budget.

SMS Assist implemented real-dollar estimates

Before SMS Assist: The retailer unknowingly had extra room in its budget from using rough cost estimates—or not-to-exceed limits (NTEs)—as placeholders for work orders until invoices were received.

SMS Assist created real-dollar estimates (RDEs)—a total based on past work orders’ labor rates, labor hours, taxes, materials, trip charges, and location—to replace the retailer’s NTEs. The retailer fit more work orders in its budget with this visibility.

The longer SMS Assist and the retailer work together, the more data SMS Assist can collect and the more accurate RDEs become.

SMS Assist offered monthly budgetary reporting

Before SMS Assist: The retailer received monthly budget reports four days before month’s end and the actual budget spend 30 days after the period’s end. The actual budget spend hardly matched up with the monthly budget report, which often put the retailer over budget.

SMS Assist built a real time dashboard that updates every few minutes to deliver budgetary transparency of completed services. SMS Assist also built algorithms that project daily, weekly, monthly, and annual spend based on the retailer’s historical spend, service history, GL codes, and seasonality.

The results

Budget visibility like the retailer had never seen before

A transparent budget program, with accurate reports and predictive insights

48.5% avoided in overestimated costs by replacing not-to-exceed (NTE) accrual with real-dollar estimates (RDEs)

More than 93% accuracy in RDE accrual estimations

Reallocation of budget to address deferred and special projects

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